Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini was born on 25th November 1946 at the time of Adhaan-e-Fajr. His pious mother brought him up until at the age of five he was sent to a government primary school in Pewaar. At the same time arrangements had been made for him to study the Holy Qur'an at home. He remained at the Pewaar Government Primary School until the fourth grade, then he took admission at the Government High School of Para Chinar and completed his matric examinations (10th Grade) from there. While in Para Chinar, he stayed at his elder sister home.
Early on he was fond of sitting with elders and listening to them with intense interest and respect. He was also strictly punctual in saying his prayers. He used to sleep with his uncle and insisted on hearing stories of his forefathers. He shunned all the customary cultural practices in marriage traditions such as singing and dancing even as a young child.
After coming home from the school he herded flocks of goats, and while the goats grazed in the near-by hills, he used that time to do his homework and study, thus always using his time productively.
As serious as he was about the important things in life, he also possessed a sense of humor and his jokes were enjoyed by his family.
One very interesting story of his childhood was that he was very fond of eating a type of fruit called “Amlog" and used to climb on that tree. One day he fell down from that tree breaking his arm. As soon as his arm healed up he again climbed that tree. His cousin exclaimed, "You again climbed the tree where you recently fell from!" Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini replied, "Today I climbed not for the fruit, but so that this tree might not think I am afraid of it."
In 1962 after completing his matriculation examinations, Allama Arif Hussaini took admission in the newly established Madressah e Jaffaria administered by Haji Ghulam Jaffer. This is the beginning of the unending quest for knowledge and faith by a servant of Allah!
Staying for a while in Para Chinar Madressah, Allama Arif Hussaini decided to further his religious studies and with his teacher Maulana Ghulam Hussain. He departed for Najaf, Iraq in 1967. “Madressah Abdul Aziz Baghdadi" was where he began his early Islamic education. Then Allama Arif Hussaini was admitted in “Madressah e Shabbiriah". He was a very hard working, intelligent and serious student. He regularly attended all lectures, and kept extensive detailed notes in his journal and was an active participant in the debates between students that took place dealing with the subjects of the lectures. Allama Hussaini’s teachers include Shaheed e Mehrab Ayatolah Madni, Sheikh Ashraf Asphahani, Aqai Lashkarani and Ayatollah Murtazavi.
During his stay in Najaf he gave utmost importance to Bandana. Every friday night he read Dua e Kumail and Ziarate Warsa. More than 20 times during his six and a half year stay in Najaf, Allama Arif Hussaini went to Karbala on foot. Whenever Allama Arif Hussaini left for Karbala with any caravan, he always took the luggage of elderly and sick Zaireen on his shoulders in the same way of the Imams (AS). Thus he tried to model his life from the examples of Ahlul-bayt.
Attachment with Imam Khomeini (RA) in Najaf
While Allama Arif Hussaini was studying in Najaf, Imam Khomeni (RA) was also living in Najaf in exile. Imam Khomeni (RA) then leads maghribain prayers at the Madersaah e Ayatollah Broujardi. Very few Muslims prayed behind Imam Khomeni due to strict vigilance on him. But the only Pakistani who, without fear, comes every maghrib to pray behind Imam Khomeni (RA) was Arif Al Hussaini. After salat ul maghrabain Imam Khomeni (RA) would deliver a lecture. He listened to every lecture with complete concentration and after coming back from the lecture repeats what he learned to his fellow students in hostel where he lives with other students. He also encourages them to attend the lectures by Imam Khomeni (RA).
Those were the days when Imam Khomeni (RA) came under more and more vigilance. His every move was monitored and whoever tried to come close to him came under heavy harassment and vigilance. As a result of this harassment, most of the students avoided sitting in at the gatherings of Imam Khomeni (RA), but not Allama Hussaini. His love for the message and personality of Imam Khomeni (RA) was so much that he always sat in the front row in the prayers behind Imam Khomeni (RA).
One day a friend of Allama Arif Al Hussaini tried to persuade him that it would better for him to stay away from Imam Khomeni (RA). He replied with complete calmness:
“My friend your Shi'a religion was not created in Pakistan . It pours out from Arabian land and Aba Abdillah (AS) was also not Pakistani. We are amongst those who say “Labaik" to the call of “Hul Min Nasirun Yansuruna" by our Imam (AS). We are in search of truth and we support every movement for truth and justice wherever it is in the world. This is our duty. Pray that this son of Zehra (SA) remains safe from the enemies while trying to spread his message. Remember that if anything happens to this leader, God forbid, then for many, many years no Aalim e Deen can stand up to speak against the tyranny. If he succeeds in his endeavor, insha'allah, then it will be the victory of Islam, and once again Aalim e Deen's stature will greatly improve. So repent to Allah and throw such cowardly and evil thoughts from your heart.
His thoughts inspired many fellow students, and they also started to sit in the lectures of Imam Khomeini (RA).
On the eve of the 2500th year of extravagant ceremonies organized by Raza Shah Pahlavi in Iran, Imam Khomeini (RA) strongly voiced against the wastage of people's money. Imam Khomeini (RA) followers sent letters of condemnation to Iranian Government and it was only Allama Arif Hussaini from Pakistan who sent a letter of condemnation from the students of Pakistani origin in Najaf.
Allama Arif Hussaini understood the message of Imam Khomeini (RA) whole-heartedly and Imam Khomeini (RA) also sensed mujahid's heart inside him. Because of this, Imam Khomeini gave his Wikalat Nama (Wikalat Nama is a letter issued by a Marja to his students to issue fatwas and collect Khums on his name) to him. Unfortunately, the Wikalat Nama was snatched during checking on the Iranian border when he decided to return to his home in 1973.
In 1973, Allama Arif Hussaini decided to return home after six and half years in Najaf. In this period at home, he married the daughter of his uncle Syed Yunus Jaan Khateeb Aalim Sher. Allah blessed them with 5 sons and 2 daughters whose names are Syed Muhammed, Syed Ali, Syed Hasan, Syed Hussain, Syed Sajjad, Syeda Fatima and Syeda Zainab.
After marriage in 1974, Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini again tried to go to Najaf but was not allowed to enter Iraq due to his involvement with Imam Khomeini (RA). Thus, he decided to go to Qom where he took lectures from Ayatollah Shaheed Murtadha Muteheri, Ayatollah Nasir Makarem Sheerazi, Ayatollah Waheed Khurasani, Ayatollah Tabrezi and Ayatollah Harampanahi on the subjects of history, Usool, philosophy, fiqh and Ilme Kalam.
Iran was gripped in political turmoil in those days. Imam Khomeini (RA)’s movement was spreading and oppression increased day by day. “Savak kept extra vigilance on every movement of revolutionists especially foreign students who supported the movement. Since Allama Arif Hussaini was the active participant in every move for revolution, he was arrested. He was kept into detention for some days, was given threats of severe torture and sending out of Iran but the determined Hussaini never bowed down.
In 1975 and 1977, he went to Hajj from Qom .
During his stay in Qom, he tried to remain in touch with current affairs of Pakistan . Incidents in which Shias were targeted made him grieve for many days. He also remained very much concerned about Kurrum Agency situation and asked in letters to his friends in Para Chinar to write in detail about the situation in the area.
Due to the pathetic situation in Kurrum Agency and also for “Madressa e Jaffaria in Para Chinar, Allama Abid Hussaini called Allama Hussaini for help. In respect for his teacher's orders and with the aim of improving situation in Para Chinar, he returned Pakistan. Here, he immediately joined Madressah e Jaffaria and also started steps towards betterment of Kurrum Agency in general and Para Chinar in particular.
As a teacher, he tried to improve the syllabi of the Madressah while also encouraging students to adopt modern techniques to understand Islam with the strict following of Taqwa e Ilahee. Due to his efforts, not only did the atmosphere of Madressah improve but also the number of students increaseed in the madressah. Later, this Madressah become Pakistan 's best madressah with respect to educational standards.
He always advised his students to read Namaz e Shab, telling them, as this is the only way to get nearness to Allah. He loved his students so much that he distributed half of his Rs 1200/- salary between the top and needy students.
Due to his pious character and knowledge, people of Peshawar started to call him for reading Majalis there. From 1977 he started delivering lectures in Imam Bargah Akhund Abad, Peshawar. He proved his character and knowledge there. Not only did he revolutionize the lives of Shias there, but he also inclined thousands of Sunnis towards Shiism through his speeches.
Whenever Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini visited Peshawar, he never stayed at host's house; rather he always stayed at his cousin's small quarters in a railway station. He used bus or rickshaw to come to Imam Bargha and paid the fare from his pocket.
He was very strict for ladies separation and hijab in Majalis. When hosts didn't heed to his requests of arranging proper separation for women Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini stopped delivering lectures, which embarrassed hosts heavily, and they quickly arranged complete separation for ladies. After confirmation and satisfaction of the arrangements, Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini continued the delivery of the Majalis.
Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini took a keen interest in the affairs of youth. He organized different programs for their spiritual training. He, himself used to come every Friday night to Peshawar by bus and this continued for a long time, thus converting thousands of youths towards Imam Khomeni's (RA) movement of freedom with imperialism.
In Kurrum Agency
After the Islamic revolution, imperialists got scared with its spread to all over the world specially its neighboring areas and hesitantly marked areas where it could reach and influence easily. Kurrum Agency was also marked due to its all-Shia population and nearness to Iran. They used Afghan refugees to suppress the Kurrum Agency's brave population. First, big camps were erected around Kurrum Agency and then, after settling, unscrupulous elements in Afghan refugees attacked Kurrum Agency. Allama Arif Hussaini took the leading role in defending the area. He founded “Alamdar Foundation" comprising around 1200 area youths and made himself its head. He made it clear to the members of Alamdar Foundation that the future of Para Chinar is in extreme danger because America wanted to disconnect all shia centers with Islamic revolution.
In defending Kurrum Agency, many gave their lives. Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini himself got severely injured when he was in a front line post defending the land. A piece of mortar shell hit his shoulder.
To help martyrs' families, Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini founded the Shaheed Foundation and in an address to its members he said:
“It is obligatory for us to remember martyrs, praise their courage and look after their families. Arrangement of proper education should especially be the top priority for the orphans of martyrs".
The valiant character of Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini made him natural leader for the people of Kurrum Agency. When people started to listen to Shaheed Quaid, he stepped further into eradicating false and unislamic cultural practices in the area. Upon witnessing Shaheed Quaid's love and affection to the area, more and more people started to gather around Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini and his efforts resulted in a marked decline in unislamic cultural activities in the area.
First Direct Clash with the Government
Besides the political agent who was the unrestrained king of the area appointed by the government, a committee of 40 Maliks was also constituted by the government to look after the affairs of the area but it was entirely ineffective. Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini raised voice against this injustice. He started his campaign with two points:
1. Abolition of the "Maliks" assembly.
2. Getting rid of the monopoly of political agents.
Shaheed Quaid's movement gained popularity as he went village to village to increase public awareness of tyranny. The government and those in power in Kurrum Agency felt threatened so they used all means and measures to stop Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini and his movement. Political agent of Kurrum Agency even tried to bribe Shaheed Quaid by promising money to establish a madressah. After listening to them, Shaheed Quaid started to read Namaz and, after completing it, replied in his peculiar accent, "Get out from here. If you would not be my guest then I would certainly give you the right answer to your ugly act. Insha'allah, people will give you and your pet Maliks the answer".
Finally, because of all of its efforts to suppress the movement, the government had Shaheed Quaid arrested for some days and thus a new chapter opened in Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini life putting him on the political scene of the country.
Interests in Welfare Projects
Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini gave utmost importance to the welfare of people and instructed members of Alamdaar Foundation to start a campaign against social evils, especially the drug heroine. For this, Shaheed Quaid personally took interest and got a welfare project constructed under his direct supervision. With this project, he arranged proper rehabilitation services for drug addicts in the hospital.
Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini possessed the heart full of grief and sense of responsibility for the impoverished. Following the footsteps of his peers Aimmah (AS), in the night Shaheed Quaid took his students with him to distribute floor, rice, oil and money to the needy and impoverished people in their area, directly to their homes. Shaheed Quaid strictly instructed his students not to disclose the anonymity of their good deeds to anybody. As such, it was not revealed until after his death. Undoubtedly, we can say that we have lost the real Follower of Ali living amongst us!
Shi'a Political Arena in Pakistan
At a nationwide convention on April 12th, 1978 in Bhakkar, Punjab , Shi'a ulema and responsible parties perceived the need to converge the Shi'a population of Pakistan under one platform. More than a hundred thousand Shi'as from around the country attended the convention. The main agenda of the convention was to evolve a strategy against General Zia ul Haq's biased policy and decisions against the Shi'as of Pakistan. The party Tehreek e Nifaaz e Fiqh e Jafarria was formed in the convention with noisy chants of approval. Mufti Jafar Hussain was selected as their leader. Mufti Jaffer Hussain, albeit his elderly age, worked day and night, and visited every corner around the country to awaken and organize the nation.
But Mufti Jaffer Hussain's health didn't allow him to see the fruits of the tree from the seed he planted. He died on 29th August 1983 leaving millions of mourners behind him.
The meeting of supreme council of TNFJ was called in Bhakkar, Punjab on February 10th 1984 . One member put forward Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini's name as the new leader. Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini, at first, plainly refused to accept this responsibility citing his pressing commitments in the area that he lives. The meeting was called off for one hour and Allama Syed Safder Hussain Najafi and some other elderly Ulema took Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini to the adjoining Imambargha and requested of him to accept the responsibility as leader and confirmed their complete support for him. Taking assurances from the Ulemas, Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini agreed to take responsibility of leadership.
As Leader: Early Days
Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini selected Peshawar City as his head office and reconstituted and reorganized the entire setup of TNFJ. He visited every corner of the country and people of every area welcomed their new Quaid with historical fervor and passion.
Shaheed Quaid's first one and half years passed in removing discrepancies in the nation's beliefs, counteracting the enemy's scornful propaganda against him, and quelling the fighting within the nation. Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini used to say, “My first one and half years as leader were passed in assuring the nation that I am Shi'a and believes in Azadari" .
Appointment as Wali e Faqeeh Representative by Imam Khomeini (RA)
Imam Khomeni (RA) issued a written statement announcing Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini as his representative in Pakistan . One could say that that written statement by Imam Khomeni (RA) gave real strength to Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini's leadership as his popularity among masses increased manifold. After becoming the official representative of Wali e Faqih, Shaheed Quaid again visited the whole country with new vigor and purpose.
Struggle against dictatorship
It was the prime black era of Gen Zia ul Haq. Public hangings, lashings, political imprisonment, barbaric use of state machinery on every voice that spoke against the dictator, Zia's, rule was the order of the day. In all that Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini's voice was nothing but thorn in the eyes of Dictator Zia. Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini in his first press conference in Peshawar announced candidly that his first demand was to change the system of the country.
Zia understood the power of Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini's words and was very afraid of him. So his government planned a ferocious campaign against Shi'as. The first step they took was against Azadari e Imam Hussain (AS). In the first year of Shaheed Quaid's leadership, incidents of firing and ransacking on mourning processions and Imambarghas in different cities occurred.
In the second phase Zia's government introduced Draconian and discriminatory laws against Shi'as of Pakistan.
All the government's tactics bore no fruits. Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini emerged from every crisis more forcefully.
Allama Arif Hussaini was a symbol of unity between Sunni and Shia Muslims. He arranged several programmes to strengthen mutual relations of Sunni and Shia Muslims.
The ever-increasing popularity of Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini as true leader and ambassador of unity in Pakistan was taken as a threat to imperialist designs and goals. The famous Qur'an o Sunnat conferences, (especially the one on 6th July 1987 in Lahore, in which more than a million admirers of Qur'an o Sunnat from every sect participated), shook every house of rulers in Pakistan and abroad. It was later confirmed by a senior journalist that all Urdu and English newspapers of 7th July were taken by the US embassy in Islamabad and many cassettes of the 6th July program were sent to the USA.
11 months after 6th July 1987, Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini was martyred. Though it is still not revealed who really was behind the conspiracy and how many took part in it, it is confirmed that the executioner of the conspiracy was Captain Majid Jilani who was deputed under protection team of President Gen Zia ul Haq.
Allama Arif Hussaini toured Karachi and his ancestral city Para Chinar in the last month of his life. When he was in Karachi he was warned of possible attack on his life but he didn't give much ear to it!
Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini went to Para Chinar after coming from Karachi and in same days his elder sister saw a nightmare just before dawn in which two attackers cut off her right shoulder. After waking, she immediately sent a message to her brother through her husband not to leave for Peshawar . When her husband met Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini, he delivered her message and elaborated her nightmare. After listening to the nightmare, Shaheed Quaid kept quite for sometime thinking and then said “Alhamdolillah" and requested his brother in law not to tell this nightmare to his mother and also told his brother in law that “he will now go to Peshawar at all cost".
It was the morning of 14th August, after meeting with his students and colleagues in Madressah, Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini left Para Chinar. He took his two sons Muhammed and Ali with him. When Shaheed Quaid was on his way to Peshawar , Adhaan for Zuhr prayers was heard. According to Shaheed Quaid's driver Abbas, it was usual for Allama as wherever he heard Adhaan, he stopped the car and prayed but that day he didn't stop the car at any nearby mosque but he stopped me outside of Para Chinar at a petrol pump asking him to fill petrol while he went to pray Namaz at a nearby clean place. Albeit a very dangerous area and circumstances, Allama prayed for a long time there. That praying place of Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini is now a beautiful mosque as the petrol pump owner was continuously instructed through nightmares to build a mosque there!
After reaching Peshawar , Allama Arif ul Al Hussaini went directly to Madressah. He prayed Maghrabain with his students. It was Friday night and usually Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini recited Dua e Kumail with his students, but on that very night Shaheed Quaid did not and went to his room where he had very long discussions with his colleague Allama Muhammad Jawwad Hadi. When Allama Jawwad went to sleep, Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini inquired about his office secretary Mohabbat Ali who was not in Madressah at that time. Shaheed Quaid asked to call him. His guard Zamin Ali asked Shaheed Quaid whether he should iron his clothing, as they had to leave for Lahore the next day to attend a seminar but Shaheed Quaid told him to leave his clothing. Shaheed Quaid asked for all of his mail and proceeded to answer all his mail one by one which were from all over Pakistan . When Mohabbat Ali came, Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini inquired about every account of Madressa with him and checked personally every account and details. He also gave instructions regarding Khums money in his custody. About Rs 0.5 million were donated by Dubai Momineen in relief of the Gilgit tragedy, that money was also in his custody. He ordered Zamin Ali to deliver that money to Maulana Sheikh Ali Madad, who was in charge of Northern areas affairs then, immediately though it was 2:00 AM in night.
After giving all money and checking all accounts, Allama Arif Hussaini went to his room. According to his guard Zamin Ali, when he went near Allama Arif Hussaini's room in night, he heard his screaming voice reciting Dua e Kumail. Zamin Ali further said that he came out from his room once, stood calmly in the courtyard, looked up and down Madressah from there for some time then returned to his room. Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini spent all night in praying to Almighty Allah.
The sun of 5th August 1988 was about to rise. Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini went to Madressah mosque to pray Fajr Namaz. After offering prayers Shaheed Quaid went upstairs of the Madressa. His guard Zamin Ali went somewhere else. On the gate Abdullah also came in to pray, leaving gate open. In the meantime two gunmen came in to the Madressah. They directly came to Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini's room but since he was on the upper floor of the Madressah they saw him coming downstairs, one of the assailants fired immediately but he only fired one bullet which pierced the heart of Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini. After his arrest, the one who fired revealed that he wanted to fire more bullets but his right hand paralyzed instantaneously as he couldn't move his fingers and his right hand is still paralyzed. Both of the attackers managed to run away but later they were arrested.
Maulana Jawwad Hadi was the first to see Allama Arif Hussaini lying in his own blood. They took Allama Arif Hussaini to a nearby hospital but he breathed his last in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.
At the age of 42, Allama Arif Hussaini left us to meet his absolute creator, to be in the company of his peers, Muhammed Wa Aale Muhammed (Peace be upon them). Five children of Allama Arif Hussaini and a nation were orphaned.